Monica Lewinsky latest addition to festival of 'tricky and nuanced conversation'

Monica Lewinsky latest addition to festival of ‘tricky and nuanced conversation’

It’s a feminist festival, yes, but it’s no ordinary feminist festival. This week, Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre announced an extraordinary lineup of female writers, activists and artists for the inaugural Broadside Festival, happening over one weekend in November.

The festival is lead by former Sydney Writers’ Festival programmer Tam Zimet, who said it will be one of “tricky and nuanced conversations.”

Promoted as a “new feminist ideas festival”, talks and panel discussions will involve “smart, funny and passionate people sharing their expertise and their stories.” Speakers include international powerhouses like Zadie Smith, Monica Lewinsky and Mona Eltahawy, as well as Australian superstars like Helen Garner, Michelle Law and Sarah Kranostein.

No surprise that Lewinsky’s inclusion has been causing the most stir. The ubiquity of bullying, humiliation and harassment targeted towards women in our culture has been a sensational and urgent issue in the last few years — and Lewinski’s story and experience is rightly being re-examined.

The public speaker and contributing editor to Vanity Fair will close the festival in a speech where she will share her experience of online harassment culture and her activism around it. Currently, she has almost 600K Twitter followers.

Helen Garner will be in conversation with Sarah Kranostein to talk about the craft of writing, voice and share a glimpse of her forthcoming collection of diaries, “Yellow Notebook”, published by Text.

Michelle Law will host a panel discussion on the cost of feminists speaking out, featuring New Yorker staff writer and author Ariel Levy, best-selling novelist Curtis Sittenfeld, Indigenous writer Nayuka Gorrie and New York-based transgender activist Raquel Willis.

Other panel discussions will interrogate the trajectories of decolonising feminism, the impact mothers have had on women, the intersection of feminism with capitalism and how the interest has changed the landscape of the contemporary media conglomerate. 

You can secure tickets here.

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